Zachary Quinto is calling out a stereotype in Hollywood surrounding openly gay male actors.
The “American Horror Story: NYC” star said that in the decade since he came out in 2011, there has been an “incredible explosion of visibility” for LGBTQ+ representation onscreen, “particularly in the trans community,” he told The Independent.
However, the “Star Trek” alum explained that coming out can change how casting directors and audiences view actors.
“There’s still a tremendous amount of fear around particularly openly gay men in our industry,” Quinto said. “There is this long-held and stubborn belief that to identify as an openly gay man on some level means you’re inherently less masculine, inherently less believable as a straight character.”
He continued, “There are still actors who believe their careers are better served by not acknowledging their authentic selves. That’s their prerogative, but I think we’re part of a movement that is unstoppable.”
Quinto previously said in 2018 that plenty of straight actors have portrayed gay characters onscreen.
“You look at how many straight actors play gay roles, and how that door doesn’t swing the other way as much,” Quinto said on SiriusXM. “There are fewer gay actors playing straight roles. And there is something about that. You look at a movie like ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ which is an incredible film. The work by those straight actors was really great, but what would have been like if there were gay actors in those roles? I don’t know! Are those characters gay or just exploring something? Who knows.”
Quinto added, “There’s a lot of controversy surrounding people playing roles that are actually in line with who they are authentically. It’s an interesting time, right? Part of the nature of being an actor is to step outside of ourselves and have experiences that aren’t in line with who we are. But the political climate, and the race for equality, has kind of shifted the ground around that notion and I think we have to be patient and see how things settle.”
“Bridgerton” actor Jonathan Bailey opened up earlier this year about feeling pressured by his peers to stay in the closet to land roles. “I thought that in order to be happy, I needed to be straight,” Bailey said. “I reached a point where I thought, ‘Fuck this, I’d much prefer to hold my boyfriend’s hand in public or be able to put my own face picture on Tinder and not be so concerned about that than getting a part. You put your life experiences into [the work]. What’s most interesting is not necessarily having to talk about what that is, and keeping a sense of privacy.”